Wall Street Journal – July 22, 2008
Sometimes I think that this site exists solely to condemn Al Gore. He is easily the person that we discuss more than all else when you consider his film, his rock concerts, and his foolish statements it seems that it is all that one can read on the subject of energy. And to think that this man was a heartbeat away from being the President of the United States for 8 years in addition to a few hanging chads from being elected to the office himself.
While it is not my goal to condemn an individual man, his latest speech is mystifying. Earlier, I said that he was changing his tactic a bit and trying to use more of the national security argument rather than the global warming argument in his challenge to America. While this tact is certainly true, some more research has been done to show the level of foolishness that man has in his challenge to be solely relying on solar, geothermal, biofuels, and wind in 10 years. Of course, Mr. Gore hasn’t solely dropped the mantle of predicting the end of the world either”
“The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk,” he says, with his usual gift for understatement. “And even more — if more should be required — the future of human civilization is at stake.”
When Mr. Gore was on “Meet The Press” he definitely jumped back on the global warming bandwagon and was nearly so focused on energy independence. I wonder if his friends told him to get off the energy independence argument and get back to talking about the end of civilization as we know it.
I commend Mr. Gore for trying hard to achieve his goals. I just find it difficult to fathom why he doesn’t want to do it in a more practical method. Also, the national security issue is strong and is why I personally think we should do more to create other energy solutions. But any discussion of this issue which doesn’t include hydrogen and nuclear is probably off the mark.
In 1995, the U.S. got about 2.2% of its net electricity generation from “renewable” sources, according to the Energy Information Administration. By 2000, the last full year of the Clinton administration, that percentage had dropped to 2.1%. By contrast, the combined share of coal, petroleum and natural gas rose to 70% from 68% during the same time frame.
Mr. Gore’s argument would be helped if he were also willing to propose huge investments in nuclear power, which emits no carbon dioxide and currently supplies about one-fifth of U.S. electricity needs, and about three-quarters of France’s. Britain has just approved eight new nuclear plants, and the German government of Angela Merkel is working to do away with a plan by the previous government to go nuclear-free.
In his useful book “Gusher of Lies,” Robert Bryce notes that “in July 2006, wind turbines in California produced power at only about 10% of their capacity; in Texas, one of the most promising states for wind energy, the windmills produced electricity at about 17% of their rated capacity.”
None of this seems to trouble Mr. Gore. He thinks that simply by declaring an emergency he can help achieve Stakhanovite results. He might recall what the Stakhanovite myth (about the man who mined 14 times his quota of coal in six hours) actually did to the Soviet economy.
You can read the entire article here.
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